Missed Connections: What Search Engines Say About Women / Safiya Umoja Noble

Noble writes evocatively about the effect of search algorithm biases on users — in this case, young black girls who will find that Google searches for “black girls” do not lead to books about black girls or communities in which young black girls might connect, but instead pornography as the top results. Noble investigates how search engines can actually maintain unequal access and representation, yet are such a foundational aspect of modern life that they are often unquestioned. She also notes that commercial interests often subvert subvert a diverse or at least realistic range of representations.

Noble, Safiya Umoja. 2012. “Missed Connections: What Search Engines Say About Women.” Bitch Magazine, 2012. https://safiyaunoble.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/54_search_engines.pdf.

The Prelinger Library

The Prelinger Library is a public library in San Francisco, CA. The library is primarily a collection of 19th and 20th century historical ephemera, periodicals, maps, and books, most published in the United States. Much of the collection is image-rich, and in the public domain. The library uses a geospatial taxonomy that “classifies subjects spatially and conceptually beginning with the physical world, moving into representation and culture, and ending with abstractions of society and theory. ” The collection includes published books, ephemera and zines, as well as oversize and standalone collections. The library also support research and artist residencies, and hosts an open-access digital collection of selected books.

Games as Enduring Presence / Elizabeth LaPensée

Games offer a space for Indigenous artists to reify the connections between tradition and technology since Indigenous games can directly engage players in Indigenous ways of knowing through design and aesthetic. The social impact game Survivance, the musical choose-your-own-adventure text game We Sing for Healing, and the mobile game Invaders exemplify games as self-determined spaces for Indigenous expression. And yet, these examples still merely hint at possibilities of self-determined Indigenous games as access to technology expands and the potential to design systems with Indigenous perspectives from the code up unfolds.

LaPensée, Elizabeth. 2016. “Games as Enduring Presence.” Public 27 (54): 178–86. https://doi.org/10.1386/public.27.54.178_1.

Encoding Culture: Building a Digital Archive Based on Traditional Ojibwe Teachings / Timothy Powell and Larry P. Aitken

This article addresses how the advent of technology can allow for the inclusion of indigenous stories in American literature history. Thus, this article is rooted in the assumption that may become a part of American literary history.  It is the hope that through this integration of Native American culture through oral traditions and artifacts that they can no longer excluded from the study of American literature.

“The advent of digital technology is undoubtedly changing our understanding of the origins and story lines of American literary history, as Randy Bass suggests. This interpretive shift offers a critically important opportunity to think more carefully about the place of Native American expressive culture as an integral, albeit long-neglected, part of “American literature.” While most anthologies in the field now include an opening section on indigenous origins—irresponsibly reducing thousands of years of precolonial storytelling to a few pages—the selections are invariably limited to stories that fit within the parameters of the white printed page. Rather than reviewing this history of exclusion yet again, I will assume here that the field is ready to acknowledge that indigenous stories are indeed part of American literary history, whether they appear in the form of the oral tradition, rock art, narratives woven in wampum belts, or pictographic images inscribed on birch bark. This may be an overly generous assumption. Nonetheless, my point is to demonstrate how digital technology can be utilized to extend the formal boundaries of the field and to create exciting new interpretive opportunities by taking seriously, at long last, the idea that the Ojibwe “epistemology of beginnings” is an intellectually valid interpretive paradigm. In doing so, the Gibagadinamaagoom digital archive, whose name means “to bring to life, to sanction, to give authority,” devotes itself to sanctioning the intellectual sovereignty of indigenous wisdom carriers, so that the question of whether American literary history begins with the Puritans or Columbus becomes moot as we set off in search of much deeper origins, wondering whether we are “worthy to translate wind” or to record “knowledge [that existed] long before humans.”

Powell, Timothy, and Larry P. Aitken. 2011. “Encoding Culture: Building a Digital Archive Based on Traditional Ojibwe Teachings.” In The American Literature Scholar in the Digital Age, edited by Andrew Jewell and Amy Earhart. Editorial Theory and Literary Criticism. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/idx/e/etlc/9362034.0001.001/1:5/--american-literature-scholar-in-the-digital-age?g=dculture;rgn=div1;view=fulltext;xc=1#5.3.

Dos and Don’ts on Designing for Accessibility / Karwai Pun

The dos and don’ts of designing for accessibility are general guidelines, best design practices for making services accessible in government. Currently, there are six different posters in the series that cater to users from these areas: low vision, D/deaf and hard of hearing, dyslexia, motor disabilities, users on the autistic spectrum and users of screen readers.

Pun, Karwai. 2016. “Dos and Don’ts on Designing for Accessibility.” Gov.UK. Accessibility. 2016. https://accessibility.blog.gov.uk/2016/09/02/dos-and-donts-on-designing-for-accessibility/.

Finding Gender-Inclusiveness Software Issues with GenderMag: A Field Investigation

Gender inclusiveness in computing settings is receiving a lot of attention, but one potentially critical factor has mostly been overlooked—software itself. To help close this gap, we recently created GenderMag, a systematic inspection method to enable software practitioners to evaluate their software for issues of gender-inclusiveness. In this paper, we present the first real-world investigation of software practitioners‘ ability to identify gender-inclusiveness issues in software they create/maintain using this method. Our investigation was a multiple-case field study of software teams at three major U.S. technology organizations. The results were that, using GenderMag to evaluate software, these software practitioners identified a surprisingly high number of gender-inclusiveness issues: 25% of the software features they evaluated had gender-inclusiveness issues.

Burnett, Margaret, Anicia Peters, Charles Hill, and Noha Elarief. 2016. “Finding Gender-Inclusiveness Software Issues with GenderMag: A Field Investigation.” In , 2586–98. ACM Press. https://doi.org/10.1145/2858036.2858274.

Critical technical practice as a methodology for values in design

Critical Technical Practice (CTP) is an approach to identifying and altering philosophical assumptions underlying technical practice. In this paper, we propose CTP as a useful method for developing value-sensitive design, complementing existing ethics-based approaches in HCI. CTP, originally proposed by Phil Agre, tightly binds technology development (as practiced in computer science) with critical reflection (as practiced in critical studies and design research), thereby uncovering and altering hidden values and assumptions in technology design. HCI, due to its interdisciplinary constitution and reflective nature, is a particularly fruitful domain for critical technical practice. We demonstrate through four case studies how critical technical practice supports the identification of values underlying design as well as the development of concrete technical alternatives.

Boehner, K., David, S., Kaye, J., & Sengers, P. (2005). Critical technical practice as a methodology for values in design. In CHI 2005 Workshop on quality, values, and choices.